This study was conducted in the selected districts of South Gondar Zone of the Amhara National Regional State which represent highland and mid altitude agro-ecology of the Zone. The aim of the study was to identify the major types of available feed resources, determine the quantity of feeds, and identify the major constraints of livestock production. Two hundred ten rural households from both agro-ecologies were interviewed with a semi-structured questionnaire. A singleâ€“visit-multiple-subject survey was carried out. The types of livestock feeds available are crop residues, natural pasture, hay, crop aftermath, indigenous fodder trees, agro-industrial by-products and improved forage crops and pasture which vary in season. The annual average maintenance DM requirement per household was higher (p<0.05) in mid altitude (10.47 TDM) than in the highland agro-ecology (8.92 TDM) districts. An average of 9.69 TDM of maintenance DM was produced per household from the major available feed resources, of which 62.08%, 12.24% and 12.19% was obtained from crop residues, conserved hay and grazing land, respectively. The average livestock population per household was 5.92 TLU and the average annual utilizable DM feed per household was 9.69 TDM. However, the annual maintenance DM requirement was estimated to be 13.45 TDM. Hence, this study indicated that the existing feed supply can satisfies about 72% (263 days) of the maintenance DM requirement of livestock per household. However, the annual feed requirement significantly varied between the two agro-ecologies that accounted for about 68% and 76% of the maintenance DM requirement of livestock in high land and mid altitude agro-ecology, respectively. Scarcity of feed, disease, poor genetic potential, lack of working capital, limited extension service and market problem were assessed to be the major livestock production constraints in the study districts.
Keywords: Agro-ecology, feed resources, production constraints.